Bend to the Bittersweet

  • Submitted on time! Mar 10, 2023
First Words

I used the poem Willow by Anna Akhmatova, and its phrases “silver willow” and “weeping limbs.” This is a song about my two neighbors, and the bittersweet-infested willow trees of our neighborhood. Following Zoya’s lead, here’s a little extra something—live performance in my living room.


Chickie makes the walk and brings the wine

late afternoon, rain or shine or sickness.

Ria lost her son in a crash

so she waves at every motorcycle driving past.


Two silver willow’s weeping limbs bend to the bittersweet.

And like the trees, my invitation for dry red and bad tv

still stands.

Looking for feedback on

Do you like just the one vocal and one organ track, or do you think it would benefit from a little more support?


daeclan March 27, 2023 9:18pm

so sweet and heavenly. a warm sunday morning sound. i think it works best naked like this, but would love to hear a more beefed up version just to confirm my suspicion.

love the lyrics, says just enough to bring up the sadness and longing underlying this tragedy. just incredible work my dude. sweet. heavens.

TylerK March 24, 2023 3:28pm

Vivid lyrics on this. Wasn’t expecting to feel this much but here I am.

I like the just organ and vocals approach a lot. It works for you. My band relies heavily on layering and layering, to the point where we fantasize about “what if on the next album we do a song just guitar and vocals!” but it seems to come so naturally from you. One of those real musicians, damn. If the lyrics weren’t so interesting I’d recommend adding in ear candy or some kinda room noise idk but you don’t need it.

I hope it’s not offensive that I liked the google drive video version just as much, if not more. That’s just where my taste is this week. This is great, I’m a big fan.

Sam Pearce March 17, 2023 3:17pm

Damn dude. Makes me sad. Beautiful song.

Sam Pearce March 17, 2023 3:18pm

Also really love the last lines

EliasSZ March 15, 2023 2:55pm

Another great one!

Arrangement-wise, I think one of the beautiful things happening here is that this is a song about emptiness or loss, from my understanding – and mirroring that with these minimalist, intimate parts works so well. I started wanting a larger, spread out atmosphere being created with other elements in the space/track entering to emphasize the intimacy and smallness of the voice and organ as a unit, if that makes sense. Far panned sounds, or deep low frequencies pulsing, or anything else to help the central part of this tune feel smaller and smaller. That being said, I don’t think the song needs it.

Either way, lovely tune, lovely lyrics, thanks for sharing.

nick March 15, 2023 3:53pm

hey really interesting idea about working to kind of put the main duo on a pedestal that’s maybe receding or somehow getting smaller, while remaining the focus. i will definitely be thinking about that.

Ryan March 14, 2023 8:18pm

Gorgeous performance, man. And an excellent, memorable sheet of lyrics. Congrats on whipping these up, especially given the challenge of the assignment. Excellent way to freshen “rain or shine” with the addition of “or sickness”. Found that particularly touching—evoking the rainy feeling of sickness.

As far as arrangement goes, after three listens, the only thing missing for me is a steadying percussive element. The ethereal organ is beautiful, but the off-kilter rhythms of the vocal were hard to keep up with / digest in real time, so I found myself just a little taken out of an otherwise transportive performance. There wasn’t anything keeping me tied down, moving along effortlessly. It may seem ironic to suggest a percussive element to a piece that floats so well, but I’m choosing to honor that feeling of being taken out of the moment because I think the song deserves to avoid that.

Great work here, man. And I love the live vid inclusion.

Tengo March 13, 2023 9:42pm

What’s more beautiful, the song or the mustache?

Answer, the song. Though the mustache is a close second.

Truly, this melody is so gorgeous Nick. I think you dialed in the reverb so nicely and the sparse arrangement still sounds so lush. The descending melody toward the end is so perfect, especially on the word “invitayyyytion.”

agasthya March 13, 2023 9:59am

I think the arrangement is great as is – it’s short enough that it doesn’t need anything else. sounds like the melancholy reprise of a big musical number at the end of act 1 of a broadway play. really like “…son in a crash/…driving past”.